Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray

The opposition and the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government are set to have a heated debate on a range of issues in the two-day monsoon session of the state legislature slated for July 5 and 6 in Mumbai. By all accounts, it will be a tumultuous affair. Unfazed by the BJP’s attack over the truncated session, CM Thackeray, who had chaired a cabinet meeting on Sunday, did not address a press conference on the eve of legislative session, thereby breaching tradition.

The Enforcement Directorate’s move to attach the assets of the Jarandeshwar sugar factory linked with Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and the ongoing probe against former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh in connection with money laundering case, the corruption charges against Transport Minister Anil Parab, the cancellation of reservations for the Maratha and OBCs and also for promotions, the suicide of a 24-year-old youth, who despite passing the MPSC exam was unable to get a government job and the ongoing pandemic are among the host of issues that will dominate the proceedings.

In addition, the election for the post of the assembly speaker will be yet another opportunity to prove the majority of the MVA alliance and outsmart the opposition. The assembly poll schedule will be decided on Monday, after the legislators receive RT-PCR test reports. The three farm laws and the resolution expressing the government’s opposition will be crucial. Further, the state government will table the supplementary demands that need to be passed.

The state government is set to highlight its achievements in curbing the second wave of Covid and its preparedness for the third wave especially after praise from the Prime Minister, the Supreme Court and the World Health Organisation. However, the opposition is determined to give the lie to this by exposing the MVA government’s lapses in handling the coronavirus pandemic.

Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said BJP had over a hundred topics to be discussed in the legislature and slammed the government for curtailing the duration of the monsoon session to two days.

However, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in his letter to the Governor BS Koshyari justified the short duration of the session citing the pandemic and the threat of a possible third wave, along with the Delta-plus variant.

Thackeray had said the health of the people and the elected representatives was the priority of his government.

Maharashtra Congress chief spokesman Sachin Sawant criticised Fadnavis for his comment democracy had been locked up by the MVA government.

“It is unfortunate that such charges show that you (Fadnavis) have no concern about the ongoing pandemic,” he said. Sawant recalled how when Narendra Modi was Gujarat CM, the legislature of that state had functioned for an average 30 days every year.

“Modi had really locked up democracy because there was no corona then. In the last seven years, they have sealed the democratic chain,” he claimed.

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Free Press Journal